Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S04-07-06
Traffic Crashes Involving Railroad Trains
Issue Date:30 May 2014Effective Date:30 May 2014
Rescinds:11 January 1998 Version
Index Category:Preliminary Investigations
This directive outlines Department procedures for investigating traffic crashes involving trains.
The investigation of crashes involving railroad trains will be expeditiously completed in order to minimize delay.
III.General Information
  • A.Incidents involving only trains and its passengers are not reportable as traffic crashes. A railroad train striking a pedestrian or vehicle at a grade crossing or roadway is reportable as a traffic crash. If the crash does not occur at a grade crossing/roadway, it is not reportable as a traffic crash.
  • B.When train incidents involve hazardous materials, the Department directive entitled “Hazardous Materials (HAZ-MAT) Incidents” will be consulted and relevant procedures followed.
IV.Responsibilities and Procedures
  • A.A member assigned to investigate a traffic crash involving any train will:
    • 1.coordinate traffic / crowd control and first aid.
    • 2.obtain driver / witness statements whenever possible.
    • 3.request that a Chicago Police Department (CPD) supervisor respond to the scene.
    • 4.request the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) to contact the appropriate railroad police agency, if any (see the Department directive entitled “Police Agencies Operating in the Chicago Area”).
    • 5.complete an Illinois Traffic Crash Report (CPD-22.110), if required.
      When a traffic crash involving a train results in a fatality or life threatening injury, the Major Accident Investigation Unit must be notified as outlined in the Department directive entitled “Crashes - Fatalities or Life Threatening Injury."
  • B.Department members have the primary responsibility for investigating traffic crashes involving Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) trains. The guidelines in Item IV-A of this directive will be followed.
  • C.When Metra trains are involved, the investigating Department member will request that the OEMC notify the Metra Police Department.
  • D.The Metra Metropolitan Rail Police Department (Metra) has concurrent jurisdiction with the CPD for traffic crashes occurring within the City of Chicago involving Metra trains.
    • 1.The CPD supervisor at the scene will determine if the Metra Police Department or the CPD will have the reporting responsibility for such crashes.
    • 2.When making the determination the CPD supervisor, after conferring with a Metra Police Department supervisor, will take into consideration the availability of CPD resources to process the scene, staffing restrictions, and which agency would be better suited to conduct a more timely investigation.
      Any jurisdictional disputes will be referred to the supervisor's next in command for resolution.
  • E.Operators of trains other than Metra or CTA trains that are scheduled to terminate their run within the Chicago metropolitan area, will be advised to contact their applicable railroad police immediately upon completion of their run.
  • F.The investigating member will detain the operator of a train on a cross country run, not scheduled to stop within the Chicago metropolitan area, only until the required information is obtained for necessary reports. Information required includes: corporate owner, run number and the name of the engineer / operator.
  • G.When OEMC is notified of a traffic crash involving a train, the dispatcher will:
    • 1.assign a field unit to investigate.
    • 2.notify the front desk / Citywide 7 dispatcher of OEMC, who will then notify the Crime Prevention and Information Center (CPIC).
  • H.For crashes involving trains (other than CTA), OEMC personnel will be responsible for notifying the appropriate railroad law enforcement agency, if any.
  • I.If necessary, for all bona fide incidents involving CTA trains, OEMC personnel will immediately notify a CTA dispatcher to have the power shut down in the area of the occurrence and request that a CTA supervisor respond to the scene.
Authenticated by: JKH
Garry F. McCarthy
Superintendent of Police
14-048 CMW